Minestra Peruana

Makes 6 main-course servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound slab bacon, rind removed
  • 10 ounces longaniza or thin Italian sausages, cut into 1 ½-inch lengths
  • One small celery root (about 10 ounces) peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked or hot paprika
  • One 64-ounce can chicken broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • A piece of rind from hard cheese like parmesan or zamorano, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 ears corn, cut crosswise into 1-inch rounds

Heat the olive oil in a 5- or 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until rippling. Add the bacon and cook, turning as necessary, until lightly browned on all sides and the bacon begins to render its fat, about 10 minutes.
Add the sausages and cook until brown and crusty, about 5 minutes. Stir in the celery root, onion, and garlic. Keep stirring to free the brown bits stuck to the pan. Add paprika and cook until fragrant.
Add the broth, potatoes, cheese rind, and bay leaves. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the corn pieces and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the corn is tender, about 3 minutes. Fish out the cheese rind and serve the soup in warm bowls.


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